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What Is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Typically, these facilities are associated with hotels, resorts, restaurants and retail shops. In addition to gambling, many casinos offer other forms of entertainment, such as live music and sports events. In some countries, casinos are licensed to sell alcohol.

The word casino derives from the Italian phrase cazino, which means little or small house. It is also possible that it is derived from the Latin caena, meaning stake or wager.

While some countries prohibit casinos, they are hugely popular in others, especially if regulated and audited properly. Many casinos are found in cities with large numbers of tourists and travelers, such as Las Vegas or Atlantic City.

As casinos evolved, mobsters became involved in the business, contributing money and even taking sole or partial ownership of some casinos. This tarnished the industry’s seamy image and kept legitimate businessmen from getting involved.

In a modern casino, the floors and walls are usually covered with red carpeting. This color is meant to stimulate the senses and encourage people to gamble. Casinos are also designed around noise and light, with gaudy decorations and bright colors. Many of these casinos do not have clocks on the walls to prevent patrons from losing track of time and money.

Because of the high amount of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. In order to minimize these risks, most casinos have strict security measures in place.